Owen Hilchey

Field Guides Leader

Owen Hilchey grew up in the desert southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where his birder grandmother, Sondra, primed him for a life in nature from a young age. At 11 years old, standing in the frigid cold morning of Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Mexico, he became entranced by the cacophony of wintering Snow and Ross’s geese as they exploded into the sky against the backdrop of a fiery sunrise over the high desert. Ever since, he has had a pair of binoculars strapped across his chest.

In the years that followed, birds took Owen on many paths—from researching shorebirds in the Alaskan wilderness, to backpacking the remote mountains of Mexico to catalog bird life, to leading birding trips all over North and Central America. These days Owen wears three hats, one as a biologist conducting environmental impact evaluations for wind and solar energy developments, another as a part time veggie farmer in his native Albuquerque, and last, but certainly not least, one as a bird guide!

Domestically, Owen has led trips all across the United States, including California, Alaska, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and New Jersey. And internationally he has taken groups to Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, and most especially Mexico.

Scroll down to see Owen's current schedule of tours.

Client comment
“Guides Jesse Fagan and Owen Hilchey were excellent at finding the birds , knew about the wide variety of habitats we visited, arranged many great meals, rotated the seating in the vans so we could enjoy the trip, and provided some wonderful life experiences. This was only Owen’s second tour as a Field Guides leader, and we found him to be an extremely knowledgeable birder and an excellent compiler of the eBird list. He also has a great sense of humor. Owen is an excellent addition to the Field Guide staff.” D.C., FLORIDA MANGROVES & MIGRANTS 2023

Owen's Upcoming Tours

Status: Open
Feb 1-8, 2025 ($3250) with Owen Hilchey
Tour Limit: 7
Fun birding from rosy-finches in the Sandia Mts to thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese (plus Ross's) along the Rio Grande.